AmeriCorps…providing crucial support through our framing stage!

Helping us make dreams come true!

Melissa, Team LeaderMelissa
Hello Habitat La Plata! My name is Melissa Panter and I am the Team Leader of this lovely group called Fire 7. My hometown is Casco, Maine located on a beautiful lake where I enjoy some of my favorite activities like kayaking, swimming, and floating. I graduated in 2013 from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Environmental Design. I have had a passion grow while in my city planning classes for the affordable housing cause. It was after graduation when I went on my first Bike and Build trip to help organizations across America combat the need for affordable housing. Since my trip I have worked with a YouthBuild in Salem, Massachusetts where my students and I learned more about the cause and built our construction skills thanks to a partnership with the Habitat for Humanity North Shore. Working with Habitat for Humanity La Plata is a dream come true for my time with AmeriCorps NCCC as I love the organization, the people, and the construction!

La Plata will be my 20th Habitat for Humanity affiliate and what a great way to end my AmeriCorps career.


Hello, my name is David Cortez I am from San Jose, California. I love helping and working for the cause. I enjoy reading, listening to music, and watching movies.





This is Andrew Burchill, and on principle, I refuse to riddle my blurb with exclamation marks. I’m an ant biologist who will be starting my PhD in collective behavior this fall at ASU, but I’m still very excited to start building a house (construction projects have been my favorites so far). Originally from Indiana, I’ve fallen madly in love with the Southwest; from what I’ve seen so far, Colorado is probably my favorite state in the continental U.S. Fun facts: I play the bagpipes and love puppeteering.


Hello there, my
 name is Leahray
 Gallo and I’m a
 Native American 
from Northern
 California. In my
 two years of 
service with AmeriCorps NCCC, I have learned to grow into a confident young adult who is able to overcome many challenges, thus far in my life. In my down time I try to apply to jobs that I can express my love for service. I also love to read, play the game of farm hero’s, and go to Native American ceremonies. Oh, and I have a dog name Lala, who I cannot wait to see after my term with NCCC is over. I am also in love with owls.


Hey there! I’m Marissa and I’m SO excited to be in Durango! My family currently resides in Florida, but I graduated from the University of Rochester in Upstate NY. I’m moving to Denver after the program because I have fallen in love with Colorado. I can’t wait to learn carpentry and construction skills and to be immersed fully in a Colorado summer spent hiking, swimming, biking, horseback riding, and more. My biggest goal this summer is to hike at least one 14er in the area!


I’m Sarah from
 Grand Rapids, 
 About me: living 
 Sunshine and
 stars. Warm
 smile. The color 
blue. Excitement.
 Three things I love – my sisters and adventures. Always acting to sustain life. So, let’s go swimming!



Hi! My name is Breanne Francois. I’m from 
Simi Valley, California where I enjoy going to the beach, camping, and enjoying the great outdoors. Last year I graduated from a community college in
 California and will be
 attending Nursing School 
in the fall. It is a passion of mine to help people and in the future use my nursing degree abroad. I am very excited to be working Habitat for Humanity! I hope to use my skills when I get home to build my very own home. I hope to live “tiny” and travel the United States. Can’t wait to meet everyone, work hard, and learn a lot!


Hello, I’m Brendan Faris from Southern New Jersey. I graduated from Eastern Regional High School in 2012 and, soon after, attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. I’m a huge fan of movies, I love quoting movies, and I hope to become a voice actor someday. But don’t let that fool you, I really enjoy sports and physical work as well, and I even have some carpentry experience already. Even though this is my second year in AmeriCorps NCCC, I’ve never had a project with Habitat for Humanity before, but I’m really looking forward to it and I know it’s going to be great!